Dem Senate Candidate’s Attack on GOP Senator Prompts Chuck Todd to Call It a ‘Toxic Political Spiral’

Jane Raybould / Twitter screenshot

Democratic Senate candidate Jane Raybould has doubled down on her recent "corruption" charge against incumbent Sen. Deb Fischer, releasing an ad on Tuesday in which she accuses the Nebraska Republican of self-enrichment, but she did not offer any evidence when pressed by reporters.

Raybould called Fischer "corrupt" during a post-debate interview last week and added that her Republican opponent is "throwing Nebraska families under the bus." The attacks centered on Fischer's financial disclosure forms, which the Senate Ethics Committee reviews and approves annually.

Raybould's ad, released earlier this week, insinuates that Fischer has improperly profited from her position in the Senate because her net worth has increased since she was first elected, prompting reporters to press Raybould for evidence to support her claim. The Nebraska Democrat did not provide any evidence, however.

"Reporters asked Raybould during [a] conference call whether she had any evidence of corruption or self-enrichment by Fischer," the Omaha World-Herald reported Thursday. "Raybould offered none, saying that Fischer's votes and donors raised questions, as did her increased net worth."

NBC host Chuck Todd slammed Raybould on Twitter for her charges against Fischer, saying they are "toxic political" tactics.

"Trickle down Trump effect? Launch attack without supporting evidence; then attack accused for not providing any evidence to prove innocence. And this is a Dem doing it to a GOPer… This is the toxic political spiral that many have warned about," Todd tweeted.

Raybould also targeted Fischer's campaign for accepting money from corporate political action committees, which has been a consistent line of attack from the Democrat for several months. The Omaha World-Herald reported that Raybould has said that she will not accept corporate PAC money, although she has already done so.

Raybould accepted $1,000 from the Newmont Mining Corporation PAC back in December. She has also accepted tens of thousands of dollars from Democrat leadership PACs, which are mostly funded by corporate PACs.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D., N.Y) Impact PAC, which takes tens of thousands of dollars from railroad, health care, and insurance companies, donated $10,000 to Raybould's campaign back in December. Donors to Impact include Anthem, Pfizer, Metlife, and Cardinal Health, among other corporations.

Raybould's campaign also accepted $5,000 from the Blue Hen Federal PAC earlier this year. Anthem, Norfolk Southern, Microsoft, and American Bankers Association are among the donors to Blue Hen.

The Keystone America PAC, which is affiliated with Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.), donated $2,500 to Raybould's campaign earlier this year. Keystone has received tens of thousands of dollars from several corporate donors and lobbying firms.

Raybould's campaign believes that, because these are not direct donations, they do not contradict her pledge to reject all money from corporate PACs, and therefore she does not owe loyalty to corporate donors, according to Brandon Weathersby, a Raybould campaign spokesman.